Month: April 2017

CCG closing Seaton Hospital beds by stealth

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The NEW Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) promised that Seaton Hospital beds would not be closed until its new ‘care at home’ scheme is in place. Yet at the Seaton Health Forum last week it was reported that occupancy, which is normally over 90 per cent, had fallen to two-thirds. And today a local resident has reported on Facebook:
“I had to take my dad to the hospital in Exeter for a procedure. This has all gone well and they were going to move him to a different ward to recuperate perhaps for ten days. I said it would be good if he could be moved to Seaton Hospital. I was told that staff had been told not to send people to Seaton. The look of disgust on the doctors face suggested that there was more to that sentence along the lines of ‘because they want to keep it empty so that it looks like it is not being used’.”
The resident concludes, ‘Do you ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’ and I agree. It appears that CCG is now closing Seaton Hospital’s beds by stealth. This follows Devon County Council’s refusal to release the CCG’s response to Devon’s Health Scrutiny Committee’s 14 questions, until after the County election next week. It now appears that not only have the CCG used the elections to avoid accountability, but they have reneged on their promises about implementation. 
I demand that the CCG ensure that Seaton Hospital is used normally until the new system is fully operational, and that any implementation process is transparent and subject to public scrutiny. If elected next Thursday, my first job will be to hold the CCG to account.
 
This news only increases the urgency of Seaton Town Council’s decision about judicial review, which it is due to make on Tuesday 2nd May.

Seaton Hospital League of Friends annual meeting

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Seaton Hospital League of FriendsI went to the Seaton Hospital League of Friends’ Annual General Meeting last night. About 50 people crowded into the Harding room. It was in many ways an inspirational occasion, as you could almost feel the excellent work, by hospital staff and League volunteers alike, which was reported to the meeting. It was all the more poignant therefore to realise that the in-patient beds, regularly full and working well as part of the local health system, were slated for removal by the CCG.

The League is fully behind judicial review, if Seaton Town Council decides on Tuesday (2nd), following the legal advice which we are about to receive, to pursue this. The League has established a holding account for those wishing to donate towards the legal costs, details of which will be made available in the next couple of days.

Note. The Town Council discussion of judicial review will be in closed session, for legal reasons.

A successful hustings – but a bizarre moment towards the end

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Yesterday’s County hustings in Seaton – attended by about 50 people – demonstrated that the election is mainly a contest between the official Conservative, Helen Parr, who supports the East Devon Tory policy of ‘bed-less hospitals’, and my campaign, fighting to save Seaton’s and Honiton’s beds. The Labour candidate, who comes from Exeter, also took part.

Two other candidates, Peter Burrows (Lib Dem) and Jim Knight (‘Independent’ Conservative), showed that they are not serious by absenting themselves from the debate, organised by the Town Council. However Peter obviously needed to see what was going on – he turned up just before 9 and watched the last few minutes of the debate!